Fort Wayne Community Schools is proud to be a Safe Routes to School Partner Organization. With reductions in bus transportation, more students are walking and riding bikes to school. This page is a resource for safety information related to walking and cycling to school.
There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
- Old Norwegian saying
Need help getting proper winter gear? Let your school counselor or case manager know. FWCS can help!
Need a Helmet?
Choose the safest route
- Select a walking route with less traffic and fewer intersections.
- Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic.
- If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from the motor vehicles as possible.
- Face traffic when walking on roads without sidewalks.
- Limit the number of street crossings. When available, cross at a location with an adult crossing guard or at an intersection with cross-walks.
- Avoid crossing busy or high-speed streets.
- Do not walk between parked cars.
- Dress in layers. You might feel cold when you start out walking or biking, but you’ll warm up as your blood gets flowing.
- Wear a hat, gloves or mittens, and a scarf. Hats are important as you lose a lot of heat through the top of your head.
- Wear good, sturdy shoes, preferably with rubber soles, or boots when it’s snowy or rainy. When it’s icy, use slip-over ice cleats such as YakTrax or StabilICERS.
- Wear bright, reflective clothes to make you more visible to drivers who may not fully defrost their windshields before hitting the road.
- Stay hydrated. The cold dehydrates you so remember to drink water, not eat snow, which can cause problems with maintaining body temperature.
- Bring a change of clothing, especially socks, to change into at school in case you get wet along the way.
- Give yourself extra time to get to school. You may be tempted to move as fast as possible to get out of the cold, but watch out for icy patches.
- Walk on the sidewalks when possible.
The Fort Wayne Fire Department has stations throughout the city, and fire fighters are there to help. A child walking or riding home who is scared or lost can stop in any fire station and ask for assistance.
Walking/Biking to School in the Winter
Winter in Indiana brings cold temperatures, snow and ice. School will be in session as long as FWCS officials believe students can safely travel to school. Be prepared for winter weather and make it fun! Children love being outside in the winter, and walking or biking to school can be a fun way to get fresh air and exercise even when it’s cold out.
Be Safe and Visible
Riding a bike is fun, but you need to be safe doing it. It is important that motor vehicles be able to see you while you are on your bike. Take these precautions to make yourself visible and keep you safe.
- Wear bright colored/reflective clothing. Reflective vests provide some of the highest visibility when it is dark. Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Make sure you have reflectors and/or lights on the front and back of your bike as well as reflectors on both wheels.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Avoid passing stopped trucks and buses on the right.
- Announce your presence to pedestrians.
- Ride in a straight path; do not weave in and out of cars.
- Use hand signals.
- Many children and adults don’t hesitate to go sledding, skiing or snowmobiling in the winter. Walking can be just as fun, and actually takes less effort than most winter sports and requires no special equipment.
- Try snow shoes when the snow is deep.
- Create a scavenger hunt looking for items in nature, such as animal tracks or icicles hanging off roofs.
- Organize a Crazy Winter Hat day.
- Notice sidewalks aren’t clear along your walk? Bring a shovel and do a good deed along the way while making your path clear.
- Have a good attitude - Don’t think of it as cold; think of it as brisk and invigorating.
Additional Safety Resources:
Know your Neighbors - Sign up to receive alerts from the National Sex Offender Registry. Read more about Megan’s Law here.